Even the greatest of relationships can strain under the worst of circumstances. Whether it’s due to an imbalance of power in the relationship, sexual or financial infidelity, or excessive jealousy, any relationship can come to an end. Sometimes it’s for the best, but oftentimes, we don’t want them to end. Here are a few exercises that could help put your relationship back on the right track, or help you both reach the conclusion that it’s best to end the relationship.
- Look at what your parents taught you about relationships. Our parents are our earliest indicators of how relationships, particularly marriages, should work. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work out for the best. It’s important to take a look at the models for marriage they left you. What did they do when money was tight? What did they teach you about gender roles? It may not seem immediately important, but if both you and your significant other are expecting different things from the relationship, it can lead to trouble.
- Resolve the arguments before the end of the day. We’ve all heard the expression “don’t go to bed angry,” but the reason it’s so pervasive is that it’s true. No matter how tired either of you are, don’t go to sleep until the conflict has been resolved. Chances are very low that either of you will wake up in the morning and pick up the conversation from where you left off. That unresolved anger can build and lead to a lot of unspoken resentment.
- Don’t be afraid to go to couples counseling. This is important. Most people don’t want to go couples counseling because they don’t want to fully admit that their relationship is failing. As with addiction, admitting that there truly is a problem is the first step toward solving it. Couples therapy services may be what your relationship truly needs. More than 98% of couples that went to couples counseling admitted that they received excellent help and 93% said they were now more effectively able to deal with their problems. Within three months of the end of therapy, 70% of couples that participated recovered.
Doing these exercises or attending some kind of marriage counseling doesn’t guarantee that the relationship will get better. Sometimes a relationship just wasn’t meant to be, no matter how in love you are. It’s an unfortunate truth, but a truth nonetheless. However, doing these exercises and attending couples counseling may be exactly what you need.